When complete, the Delta Heritage Trail State Park will stretch 73 miles along a 73-mile right-of-way donated to the state by the Union Pacific Railroad Company. As of autumn 2011, 14 miles of the trail are complete between Helena Junction (just south of Lexa) and Market Street in Lake View to the south.
Named for the region's rich history and culture, the trail traverses a forested corridor on a packed limestone surface through a rural landscape cut by babbling streams. The park has a visitor center on Route 49 in Barton, where you'll find maps, a gift shop, restrooms and picnic sites. You can also rent bicycles. Campers will find 5 primitive tent sites here, too.
The entire corridor, preserved for interim trails use under the Railbanking provision of the National Trails System Act, runs from Lexa south to Cypress Bend, just north of McGehee. The corridor passes through some of the most remote and scenic areas remaining in the Delta region of eastern Arkansas.
The region was once covered by a bottomland hardwood forest extending from Cairo, Ill., to the mouth of the Mississippi River. Today only fragments of this great forest remain since much of the land is separated and surrounded by agricultural development. Once completed, the middle portion of the trail will pass through some of the finest examples of the remaining wetland forest.
Future trail development will open the section south of Snow Lake, where the route becomes a shady tunnel through overhanging vegetation with openings where old railroad bridges cross sloughs and bayous. For 6 miles the trail will adjoin the 160,000-acre White River National Wildlife Refuge. The route also crosses the White River on a high, steel bridge with a long, elevated trestle on either end. For 3 miles between the Arkansas and White rivers, the trail will pass through the dense bottomland hardwood forests and wetlands of the Trusten Holder State Game Management Area.
For updates on the trail's development, contact Delta Heritage Trail State Park
Trailheads are located at Helena junction near Barton, Walnut Corner at the U.S. 49 overpass, Lick Creek (Ark. 85 just south of Barton), and in Lakeview.
My wife and I rode this trail on October 20th, 2010. The trail itself is very well built and maintained. It is as smoothe as a crushed limestone trail can be, and not a speck of litter was seen along the entire stretch. The adjacent visitor center is ...
I rode this trail in September, 2008, using my Trek 7300 Hybrid bike. When completed, this should be a wonderful addition to the Mississippi River trail. The trail is part of 73 miles of abandoned rail line that parallels the Mississippi River and State ...
This is a nice rail-trail that is only a mile away from my home.